Where does the duo of Rozier and Graham rank among the best duos in Charlotte Hornets history?

Charlotte Hornets Devonte' Graham and Terry Rozier. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Devonte' Graham and Terry Rozier. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets Glen Rice. (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images) /

This might not be the best duo but without their mixture of skillsets, the Charlotte Hornets would never have made the playoffs in a tough Eastern Conference.

The 1990s were a fun time to be a Hornets fan. There were a few lulls here and there, but for the most part, the team enjoyed success. The decade was split up a bit, though, into three distinct eras. We’ll discuss all three in this piece, but first, let’s detail the post-Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson era.

Mourning and Johnson were the franchise’s first bonafide stars, but with that came some tension, to say the least. We’ll touch on that later, but needless to say, the two were moved at various points in the middle part of the decade. The team would get some pieces back that would prove to be instrumental in competing in an Eastern Conference that fielded some truly great teams.

One such piece was marksman, Glen Rice, who was involved in the trade that sent ‘Zo to the Miami Heat prior to the 1995-1996 season. Many questioned the decision at the time, but it worked out relatively well for Charlotte. The deals weren’t done, however. A season later, Larry Johnson was traded to the New York Knicks for Anthony Mason and Brad Lohaus.

Though fans were upset, their qualms would soon be laid to rest as the ’96-’97 season saw the Hornets post their best record ever, winning 54 games. Unfortunately, they were swept in the first by the Knicks, much to the delight of Larry Johnson.

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Rice made the All-Star game, scoring nearly 27 points a game, good enough for third in the NBA. He would also go on to win All-Star Game MVP, something no other Hornet has yet to accomplish. Mason anchored the defense, snagging 11.4 rebounds per contest, putting him third in the league in that category. Mason would be named to the NBA-All-Defensive team after the season ended.

The following season would see Charlotte topping 50 wins again and earning another playoff berth. Rice’s numbers were down just a bit but were still among the best in the league. Mason continued his two-way game, averaging yet another double-double, and with help from guys like Vlade Divac and Matt Geiger, the team finished fourth in the East.

They would brush by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the NBA playoffs, with Mason leading the way in scoring for much of the series. Then came the pleasure of facing M.J. and the Chicago Bulls, which didn’t work out so well for Charlotte. They would be quickly dealt with, losing the series in five games.

Sadly, that would be the end of the Glen Rice and Anthony Mason era in Charlotte. Both would be sidelined with injuries and then subsequently traded for other players that would end up helping them find more success. We’ll cover that next.